When Andy Hill picked up the phone earlier this month and heard he got the job with the Kansas City Chiefs, it marked an achievement of a lifetime.
“Growing up a Chiefs fan, growing up around the state of Missouri and having a chance to work not only with the Super Bowl champs but Andy Reid and the kind of person he is, and Dave Toub is a friend of mine – when Coach Reid called me and offered me the job, we had some real tears and some great clapping in our house,” Hill said.
A Trenton, Missouri native, Hill joined the Chiefs’ coaching staff as a special teams assistant coach this offseason after spending 24 seasons on the staff at the University of Missouri.
“Well, I was there in the very first part of March and so the Super Bowl win was still very fresh in the building,” Hill said. “The positive mojo and the positive vibes from all the Chiefs – not just the coaches, but all the personnel in the entire building – was something that really was phenomenal for me, was certainly a breath of fresh air, and was something that if we can keep that chemistry going and all the positive vibes going, it’s really special.”
The second-longest tenured assistant coach in Tiger football history, Hill was not retained by new Tigers head coach Eli Drinkwitz for next season.
Hill was the first-ever special teams coordinator for the Tigers, working with receivers, quarterbacks and special teams players at his alma mater.
“I think that I’m a players guy for sure. I feel like the biggest lesson I’ve learned is it’s really about the players. It used to be about recruiting in the college game and to the NFL, it’s really about the guys that you have on the field and with the group of guys that we have back in Kansas City, it’s sure special to be a part of that.”
As he joins his hometown team, Hill brings a lifetime of memories.
“It was great back then. It’s certainly a pleasure to be a part of the Chiefs organization now. I’ve been a Chiefs guy…whenever they won it in 1969, I got a sweatshirt – a buddy ripped my Chiefs sweatshirt from the Super Bowl championship and I went home crying, so that’s my memory from the ‘69 champions back in the good old days.”
Hill also brings a unique tie to the organization; the Mizzou grad was invited as a receiver to join the Chiefs training camp during the 1985 season.
“My parents used to take me down to the training camp at William Jewell,” Hill said. “In 1985, when I was lucky enough to have the choice between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs, I obviously chose the Chiefs to come to training camp. Back then, they used to cut the Monday after preseason games, so every Monday, you’re holding your breakfast tray hoping the ‘Turk’ wouldn’t get you and make eye contact with you. I made it until the last cut.”
Hill also reunites with special teams coach Dave Toub. The two worked together at Mizzou when Toub was a strength and conditioning and defensive line coach at Missouri from 1989 to 2000.
“Dave and I have kept in great touch. When he was lucky enough to get to the NFL with Coach Reid back in Philadelphia, I didn’t ever go out to Philadelphia, but when he got hired at the Chicago Bears back early in the 2000s, I went up several times to visit him,” Hill said. “Our relationship has been pretty much the same the entire time.”
With everything coming full circle, Hill feels ecstatic to enter the professional arena.
“I’ve talked about trying to get into the NFL for a few years,” Hill said. “It’s such a great opportunity to work with Andy Reid, and Dave Toub, and Eric Bieniemy and Steve Spagnuolo – those guys are special people and special coaches and we got number 15 so let’s go to work.”